Saturday, August 29, 2009

Gilmer 42, Jasper 14

Courtesy Photo /
GILMER QB STUMP GODFREY prepares to hand off to Gus Osborne in the first quarter of the game at Homer Bryce Stadium in Nacogdoches between the Buckeyes and the Jasper Bulldogs.

From the Tyler Morning Telegraph:

Buckeyes Erupt In Second Half

From the Longview News-Journal:

ET Football: Gilmer 42, Jasper 14

From the Jasper Newsboy/Beaumont Enterprise:

Gilmer breaks open close contest in second half to win 42-14

From KJAS:

Bulldogs fall to the Buckeyes 42-14

From The Gilmer Mirror:

From The Gilmer Mirror:

Buckeyes drop Jasper in season opener


Gilmer’s first football game of the 2009 season started at 8 p.m. Friday in Nacogdoches. The Buckeyes got started at 9:40 p.m. That’s when Gilmer received the second half kickoff from the Jasper Bulldogs and began to erase the bad memory of a disappointing 8-7 halftime lead.

Coming into the game ranked number one in Class 3A, the Buckeyes struggled offensively in the first half. They managed only 91 yards on five possessions, giving the host Bulldogs hope for the upset.

But when Gilmer received the second half kickoff, the Buckeyes offense came to life, amassing 328 yards and 34 points to silence the Bulldogs’ barking and send Jasper home with a 42-14 thumping.

“We’ve got to give Jasper credit first, I thought they played really well,” said Gilmer head coach Jeff Traylor. “We didn’t play real well the first half. But the game is four quarters and the kids responded the second half.”

First year Jasper head coach Mike Bickham agreed with Traylor. “We’ve got to put two halves together,” Bickham said. “We were going to try to keep their offense on the sideline and we did for a lot of the game.”

It almost worked, as the Bulldogs held on to the football for almost two-thirds of the first half. But thanks to a hard-hitting Buckeyes’ defense that forced two fumbles in the opening half, Jasper only managed one touchdown drive.

“Defensively, we played really well the whole game,” praised Traylor, who watched his defense force the Bulldogs to punt after gaining no yards on three plays of their opening possession.

Gilmer started their first possession in great field position from their own 48-yard line and looked to be in prime form three plays later when running back Gus Osborne took a screen pass from quarterback Stump Godfrey and weaved down the sideline before being stopped inside the Bulldogs’ 10-yard line. But a penalty against the Buckeyes brought the ball back and Gilmer punted two plays later.

The Buckeyes’ defense gave the ball back to the offense four plays later when linebacker Vance Green forced a fumble that Luis Castro recovered at the Jasper 45-yard line.

Godfrey was 5-of-5 passing on the next drive, hitting Luke Turner from 3 yards out for Gilmer’s first touchdown with 3:43 to play in the first quarter. The Buckeyes converted the 2-point conversion for an 8-0 lead.

“I thought we were going to have a lot more, but it just didn’t click for us,” said sophomore receiver Turner, who scored his first varsity touchdown.

The Bulldogs responded with a 13-play scoring drive that consumed over seven minutes on the clock before tailback Ben Armstrong found the end zone from six yards out with 8:33 remaining in the half. Juan Mijares’ extra point was good, cutting the Gilmer lead to 8-7.

The Buckeyes went backwards on their next possession, losing four yards on three plays before punting to the Bulldogs, who took over at their own 30-yard line.

Two plays later, Gilmer’s Chris Miller recovered another Jasper fumble giving the Buckeyes’ the ball back at the Bulldogs’ 35-yard line.

Gilmer managed to gain only two yards before a 4th down pass fell incomplete, returning the football to the Bulldogs at their own 33-yard line.

Jasper advanced the ball to their own 48-yard line before punting to the Buckeyes, who took possession at their own 24-yard line.

Gilmer looked poised to score after big pass completions from Godfrey to Kedon Franklin and Braylon Webb, but the drive stalled at the Bulldogs’ 8-yard line. The Buckeyes lined up to attempt a field goal on fourth down, but a bad snap resulted in a loss on the play, giving the ball back to Jasper at their own 17-yard line, allowing the Bulldogs to run out the clock on the first half.

“They came out ready to play and we came out flat and it showed on the scoreboard,” said Godfrey, who added “I was just disappointed. We weren’t executing.”

Traylor praised his senior quarterback’s example at the intermission. “Stump was an unbelievable leader; very calm. He just was great at halftime. All my seniors were great at halftime. That whole senior group is special. They’re not going to cave in to all that adversity.”

When the Buckeyes’ Mikey Wilson returned the second half kickoff to Gilmer’s 49-yard line, the Buckeyes’ offense was ready to explode.

Godfrey led the Buckeyes to touchdowns on five of their seven second-half possessions, throwing touchdown passes to Webb and Marlon Granville and rushing for two more.

“We just executed so much better offensively,” said Traylor, who watched his quarterback set career highs with 24 completions on 38 attempts.

After the game, Godfrey said that he and the team learned a valuable lesson. “Just because we’re number one doesn’t mean we don’t have to play hard,” said Godfrey.

The only thing that stopped the Buckeyes’ offense the second half was an interception and a fumble that ended the other two drives. But that was offset by the Buckeyes’ Castro and Green recovering two more Jasper fumbles.

After stopping the Bulldogs on their first five possessions of the second half, Jasper finally got back on the scoreboard when Karrion Morrisey ran the ball in from two yards out with 4:47 left in the game.

But the Buckeyes weren’t done yet, as Green came over from the defense and took his only hand-off at running back 46 yards for a touchdown with 3:03 remaining on the clock.

“I saw the opening. I wanted to break the opposite way, but I saw Daniel [McLaren] right there and he looked at me and I cut through and took it to the house,” said Green who recorded his first offensive touchdown of his career for the final 42-14 score.

“A win is a win,” summed up Green.

Traylor agreed, and added that the experience was good for his top-ranked team. “This will help us. This will serve us very well on down the road.”

Scoring Summary

1st 2nd 3rd 4th Total

Gilmer 8 0 21 13 42
Jasper 0 7 0 7 14

Game Statistics

Gilmer Jasper

First Downs 20 14
Passing-Comp/Att/TD/Int 24-38-3-1 4-10-0-0
Passing-Yards 293 54
Rushes-Yards 27-126 48-149
Total Yards 419 203
Time of Possession 20:06 27:54
Fumbles Lost 1 4
Penalties-Yards 2-10 6-60

Mirror Photo / Mary Laschinger Kirby
JASPER’S CEDRIC MCGILL (11) tries to cut with GILMER’S LUKE TURNER (7) as the Buckeye receiver turns a routine short pass into an 18-yard first down on the second touchdown drive of the third quarter. Gilmer went on to win 42-14.

Mirror Photo / Mary Laschinger Kirby
BUCKEYE Marlon Granville drags Jasper’s Darren Beavers to the Bulldog 7-yard line, setting up a first and goal before Gilmer’s fourth touchdown.

Mirror Photo / Mary Laschinger Kirby
GILMER’S BRAYLON WEBB breaks the arm tackle of Jasper’s Michael Webb and scores the first touchdown of the second half with just 1:39 off the clock in the third quarter. Gilmer led 15-7 after the score and PAT by Adan Olivares and went on to a 42-14 victory.

Mirror Photo / Mary Laschinger Kirby
STUMP GODFREY gestures “Number 1” as he scores his first touchdown to increase Gilmer’s lead to 22-7 during the 42-14 win over Jasper at SFA.

Video from KLTV's Red Zone:

From Maxpreps:

Box Score

From Coaches Aid:

Ranking Remix Week 0

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Buckeyes begin 2009 where they ended 2008


Gilmer Buckeyes’ head coach Jeff Traylor has many great memories of Homer Bryce Stadium on the campus of Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches. There are the two regular season wins against Hemphill in 2000 and 2001; playoff victories against Tatum in 2004 and Mabank in 2007. And of course the Buckeyes’ only state championship win against Jasper in 2004.

But Traylor and the Buckeyes’ most recent visit to Nacogdoches was a disappointing 31-28 loss to last year’s state champion, the Carthage Bulldogs.

“That’s the first time we’ve ever lost in Nacogdoches,” said Traylor, as he prepared his Buckeyes to open the 2009 regular season in the same stadium that hosted the end of their 2008 season.

Gilmer meets the Jasper Bulldogs Friday at 8 p.m. in Homer Bryce Stadium, in a rematch of the 2004 Class 3A Division II State Championship Final.

The Buckeyes are 46-6 with another state finals appearance since that 49-47 thriller over the Bulldogs five years ago. Jasper, on the other hand, is 20-23 in the past five years.

Gilmer is ranked number one in Class 3A to start the season, while Jasper starts the season with their third head coach in five seasons.

Despite the disparity between the two programs in the last five years, new Jasper head coach Mike Bickham said that Friday’s game presents a great opportunity for the Bulldogs. “We’d love to come in and knock the king off the mountain,” Bickham said.

But Bickham knows the odds of his Bulldogs doing that are long, considering that he’s installing a new Triple-I option offense and 3-3 Stack defense. “A brand new offense and a brand new defense; it’s bound to be tough,” admitted Bickham, who is 53-21 as a head coach in six seasons with Tenaha, Brookshire Royal and Carthage.

“His dad was a head football coach, so he’s been around it his whole life,” said Traylor about Bickham. “He’s won everywhere he’s been, so he obviously knows something. He’s won at three different schools and I’m sure he’s going to win in Jasper.”

“When you jump into a job like this you’ve got to concentrate on getting better every week,” explained Bickham, who was a coordinator at John Tyler when he accepted the Bulldogs’ job.

“We still have to work on the timing of things,” said Bickham. “Things that teams that have been running the same offense year after year already have worked out; we have to work those things out right now.”

Traylor, who is 97-17 entering his 10th season in Gilmer, thinks that could be an advantage for his Buckeyes. “You just hope he’s not ready week zero. You’d like to think 10 years against week zero would give us a tremendous advantage,” reasoned Traylor.

“We don’t ever change,” Traylor continued. “We’re still in the spread, we’re still in the “50” defense, we still punt the same way, we still kick off the same way, and we still return the same way. People can prepare for us so much easier.”

While the Buckeyes present no surprises for their opponent, they still present a challenge; stopping an offense that averaged over 465 yards and 44 points per game last season.

“It’s not Gilmer’s offense,” insisted Bickham. “It’s the kids they have running that offense. When you’ve got a seasoned quarterback that is very talented and very well coached and understands the offense, you’re going to be very, very good.”

Buckeyes’ quarterback Stump Godfrey returns for his third season at the helm of Gilmer’s vaunted offense with the opportunity to finish his career as one of the best passers in Texas history.

If the Buckeyes make a deep playoff run this season, Godfrey’s career averages suggest that he will finish in the top 12 in passing yards and touchdown passes among all classifications. “That’s pretty fascinating,” said Traylor. “He can climb right up the Texas all-time leaders list.”

While Godfrey and the Buckeyes’ offense get most of the attention, Bickham believes the Buckeyes’ Black Flag Defense may be the key to Gilmer’s season. “I think their kids fly to the football; they’re extremely aggressive, they don’t make many mistakes, they’re great tacklers,” stated Bickham. “Their defense may be the very thing that may propel them in living up to that number one ranking.”

Traylor admits that the number one ranking has his kids eager to start the season Friday night. “They’re tired of practicing, so I think they’ll be really ready to go.”


*Gilmer is 8-1 in season openers under Jeff Traylor (only loss: 20-14 to Gladewater in 2001)

*Gilmer is 63-2 in their last 65 regular season games

*Gilmer's Stump Godfrey needs 189 passing yards for 6,000 in his career

*Gilmer's Stump Godfrey’s 74 career touchdown passes ranks as 4th best all time in Class 3A

**Direct link to Friday night’s Internet audio stream:

You can also access the stream via Pregame show begins at 7:45 p.m.

See ad on Page 4B of Aug. 26 print edition of The Gilmer Mirror for schedule of video replays of the game. This ad will also run on the front page of the TV guide in Saturday's Mirror throughout the season.

Mirror Photos / Mary Laschinger Kirby
HOMER BRYCE STADIUM on the campus of Stephen F. Austin State Univ. in Nacogdoches was the scene of the Gilmer football program’s greatest triumph on Dec. 18, 2004. Players in above photo hold a banner proclaiming the Buckeyes as state champs after the 49-47 win over the Jasper Bulldogs. However, it was also the scene of the Buckeyes’ most recent setback, a hard-fought 31-28 quarterfinal loss to another pack of Bulldogs, the eventual state champs from Carthage, on Dec. 6, 2008. In the photo below, Gilmer QB Darian “Stump” Godfrey scores from a yard out to even that game up at 7-7 in the first quarter. On Friday night, the Buckeyes meet the Jasper Bulldogs again at SFA. Last year the two teams met at TMF Rose Stadium in Tyler and Gilmer won again, 56-28.

Buckeyes’ 2009 Game Capsules


August 28- Jasper @ Homer Bryce Stadium, Nacogdoches

Mascot: Bulldogs

Colors: Crimson & White

District: 18-3A

Enrollment: 813

2008 Record: 4-6, Div. I Bi-district Finalist

Last meeting: 2008, Gilmer won 56-28

Series Record: Gilmer leads 2-0

Head Coach: Mike Bickham (1st year, 53-21 overall)

Returning Starters: 4 Offense/4 Defense

Did you know? Since the Buckeyes beat the Bulldogs 49-47 to win the 2004 Class 3A Division II State Championship, Jasper has gone through three different head coaches.

Coach Traylor says: “I hope it brings back some good memories,” said Traylor when asked about meeting Jasper on the same field as the state championship game.

September 3- Rains @ TMF Rose Stadium, Tyler

Mascot: Wildcats

Colors: Blue/White/Black

District: 13-3A

Enrollment: 485

2008 Record: 2-8

Last meeting: 2008, Gilmer won 77-21

Series Record: Gilmer leads 11-0

Head Coach: Brannon Kidd (2nd season, 2-8, 10-20 overall)

Returning Starters: 6 Offense/5 Defense

Did you know? Rains’ 21 points against the Buckeyes last season was more than the Wildcats had scored against Gilmer in their previous 10 games combined.

Coach Traylor says: “Rose Stadium is always a great place to play. With the new Jumbotron it should be exciting for the kids. Thursday night, we’ll be the only game around so there should be a good crowd there.”

September 11- @ Liberty-Eylau

Mascot: Leopards

Colors: Crimson/Black/White

District: 16-3A

Enrollment: 802

2008 Record: 4-6

Last meeting: 2008, Gilmer won 28-14

Series Record: Liberty-Eylau leads 11-4

Head Coach: Pat Brady (6th season, 39-22, 39-22 overall)

Returning Starters: 6 Offense/5 Defense

Did you know? The Buckeyes and Leopards faced each other every year from 1968-1979 before a 26-year hiatus was broken when the teams met in the 2006 playoffs.

Coach Traylor says: “We’re not looking forward to playing them there. They have a lot of people back, they’re very physical, they run right at you, and those are things we don’t really deal with very well. That will be a tough one. I’d circle that one.”

September 18- Kilgore

Mascot: Bulldogs

Colors: Red/Black/White

District: 14-4A

Enrollment: 1,080

2008 Record: 9-3, Area Finalist

Last meeting: 2008, Kilgore won 28-14

Series Record: Kilgore leads 4-0

Head Coach: Mike Vallery (15th season, 128-41-1, 222-65-1 overall)

Returning Starters: 2 Offense/3 Defense

Did you know? Kilgore’s 28-14 win last season snapped a 27-game regular season winning streak for the Buckeyes. Gilmer has never lost two consecutive games to the same team under Jeff Traylor.

Coach Traylor says: “They could stop both our home winning streak and our streak of never losing two games in a row to the same team. They’ll be tough for us to beat.”

September 25- Daingerfield

Mascot: Tigers

Colors: Blue & White

District: 17-2A

Enrollment: 376

2008 Record: 15-1, Class 2A Div. II State Champions

Last meeting: 2008, Gilmer won 49-18

Series Record: Daingerfield leads 30-23

Head Coach: Barry Bowman (2nd season, 15-1, 29-17 overall)

Returning Starters: 6 Offense/7 Defense

Did you know? With three victories, Daingerfield is the only team to beat the Buckeyes under Jeff Traylor more than once.

Coach Traylor says: “We have a lot of respect for Daingerfield. When you’ve got a quarterback, tailback and receiver like those three; those three guys can play for anybody,” said Traylor about quarterback Tyler Boyd, running back KoKo Smith and receiver Chris Jones who combined for over 5,000 total yards last season.

October 9- @ Bullard

Mascot: Panthers

Colors: Blue/White/Red

District: 17-3A

Enrollment: 494

2008 Record: 3-7, 1-4 district

Last meeting: 2008, Gilmer won 48-12

Series Record: Gilmer leads 3-0

Head Coach: Jim Taylor (3rd season, 9-11, 50-71 overall)

Returning Starters: 7 Offense/7 Defense

Did you know? Gilmer quarterback Stump Godfrey was intercepted a career-high 3 times in last season’s game against the Panthers.

Coach Traylor says: “That’s the first district ball game so you want to get off to a win.”

October 16- Chapel Hill

Mascot: Bulldogs

Colors: Blue & Gold

District: 17-3A

Enrollment: 885

2008 Record: 9-2, 4-1 district, Div. I Regional Semi-finalist

Last meeting: 2008, Gilmer won 35-6

Series Record: Gilmer leads 5-0

Head Coach: Thomas Sitton (1st season)

Returning Starters: 4 Offense/4 Defense

Did you know? Gilmer is 8-1 under Jeff Traylor during Yamboree games. Daingerfield beat the Buckeyes 35-14 in a Yamboree game in 2000, Traylor’s first year at Gilmer.

Coach Traylor says: “Our crowds are so good at home during the Yamboree. That’s a huge advantage. We always have a great crowd. It’s like homecoming almost.”

October 23- @ Spring Hill

Mascot: Panthers

Colors: Royal Blue & White

District: 17-3A

Enrollment: 524

2008 Record: 3-7, 1-4 district

Last meeting: 2008, Gilmer won 55-7

Series Record: Gilmer leads 11-2

Head Coach: Robert Bero (5th season, 20-22, 113-59-3 overall)

Returning Starters: 8 Offense/9 Defense

Did you know? The Buckeyes’ 684 total yards against the Panthers in 2006 is the most in team history.

Coach Traylor says: “I think they’re going to be a lot better. I picked them to make the playoffs.”

October 30- @ Gladewater

Mascot: Bears

Colors: Orange & Black

District: 17-3A

Enrollment: 568

2008 Record: 6-4, 2-3 district

Last meeting: 2008, Gilmer won 43-8

Series Record: Gilmer leads 26-25-2

Head Coach: Scott Callaway (4th season, 13-18, 64-32 overall)

Returning Starters: 4 Offense/6 Defense

Did you know? Gilmer’s 39-game district winning streak ranks as the 5th best in Class 3A history, one ahead of Gladewater’s 38 consecutive district victories from 1986-1991 that the Buckeyes ended with a 17-14 win in 1991.

Coach Traylor says: “Scott’s been there four years now so he’s got his program close to where he wants it. He’s got good athletes. They’ll be in the playoff hunt as well.”

November 6- Tatum

Mascot: Eagles

Colors: Green & White

District: 17-3A

Enrollment: 443

2008 Record: 5-6, 2-3 district, Div. II Bi-district Finalist

Last meeting: 2008, Gilmer won 48-14

Series Record: Gilmer leads 13-6

Head Coach: Andy Evans (6th season, 57-13, 128-42 overall)

Returning Starters: 9 Offense/8 Defense

Did you know? Tatum was the last district opponent to defeat the Buckeyes with a 14-6 victory in 2000.

Coach Traylor says: “They’ve got a lot of kids back. I think they will be improved tremendously.”

Buckeyes' Traylor discusses 2009 season

2009 Gilmer Buckeyes

The Gilmer Mirror's JOE DODD sat down with Gilmer Buckeyes' head coach JEFF TRAYLOR in a question-and-answer session to get his thoughts on the upcoming season.

This is your 10th season as head coach at Gilmer. Does that make this year special?

It’s amazing that it’s gone by that fast. Ten years is a long time to stay in one place for a job, especially coaching football. It’s been a blur; it’s gone by so fast. We’ve been very fortunate. There’s no way I would have dreamed that we would have had the amount of success that we’ve had.

You became the winningest coach in school history last season, and this season have the opportunity to get your 100th win. What does all of this mean to you personally?

I can remember seeing all of those coaches that had 100 wins and thinking “golly can you imagine what they must have gone through to win a hundred games?” It just makes me think of all the kids we’ve coached. I can describe every single loss in detail, but not the wins. You never think about the wins; you always think about the losses. It’s a terrible thing about this job.

You have lost to the eventual state champion for three years in a row. How difficult has that been for you and for the program?

Each one was different. I was extremely disappointed after the Liberty-Eylau loss because I didn’t think we played very well. The Liberty Hill loss, I have mixed feelings because the score was not an indicator of how close those teams were matched up, because of the weather and Stump’s injury. That was a different kind of loss; I guess that was more of a frustration because I know we didn’t get to show our best that day. And then the Carthage loss I was extremely proud of our kids playing and battling a team that was probably better than us. Since 2003, we’ve either been the state champion or lost to the state champion five out of six years. The secret to winning it, is always being around it, and then you’re going to win it.

Gilmer is ranked number one in most pre-season polls. The last time that happened was in 2006 when the Buckeyes lost in the first round of the playoffs after a perfect regular season. Will that experience help you and your team this season?

I think so. There is so much more media, so much more attention to a team that’s number one, that’s the hardest thing about doing it. I learned a lot about the hype that comes along with being number one.

This is one of the largest senior classes that you’ve ever had at Gilmer. How will you remember this class? That remains to be seen.

So far they’ve been a very, very productive group. We’ve gotten a lot out of this group already. Thirteen of them participated as sophomores on the state finalist team. I told them that if they can win it all, I think they’ll go down as the greatest group that has ever come through Gilmer because they’ve been second three years in a row. If they could win it this year; wow what a career.

How does it feel to start another season with the challenge of extending the Buckeyes’ impressive 39-game district and 30-game home winning streaks?

That’s exciting to me. Those are things that keep kids excited during the regular season. I know that every group that wins their final district game is relieved and anxious to pass that on to the next group.

What is the theme for this year’s team and how was it chosen?

Code Red is the theme. The idea came from Buckeyes’ play-by-play announcer Matt Camp’s positive attitude in his battle against cancer. He said you have to think it, speak it and act it. I thought we would be ranked number one and people say we’re number one, now we have to act like we’re number one. Thinking it and saying it will not be the hard part, but acting it will be the hard part. That’s the code and the red came from Kilgore and Carthage both wearing red and being the only teams that beat us last year.

Mirror Photo / Mary Laschinger Kirby
GILMER BUCKEYES VARSITY for 2009 include, from left, kneeling, Terry Whitaker, Kedon Franklin, Tristan Holt, Daniel McLaren, Luis Castro, Braylon Webb, Luke Turner, Vance Green, Adan Olivares and Darian Godfrey; second row, Paul Chesnut, Xavier Easley, Jordan Abron, Wesley Johnson, Ben Turner, Chris Miller, Tevin Godfrey, Kavin Patton, Ben Griffith, Marlon Granville, J.T. Beecham and Gus Osborne; third row, Harvey Horton, Marqualon Tate, Exavian Johnson, Tamil Harris, Chad Tennison, Jordan McCraven, Gavin Holt, Jeremy Jackson, Dakota Cannon, Mikey Wilson, Jordan Traylor and Ben Martin; fourth row, Jeremy McMillan, Carlos Sanchez, Sam Haynes, Eric Miller, Devonte Brooks, Ty Barr, Caleb Denton, Cory Davis, Jasper Cox, Dustin Hardin, Barry Kennedy and Floyd Hollins; fifth row, Nathan Shelton, Leland Montgomery, Jordan Goodrich, Zach Davidson, Beau Blair, Jacob Jenkins, Nick Richardson, Hurashio Morgan, Austin Hollingsworth, Chase Spencer and Colton Hill. Not shown are Josh Gordon, Richard Quezada, Trey Webb, Wesley Lambert, Daniel Arrington and Michael Boddie.


This feature of Gilmer Buckeyes Booster Club membership began at noon Wednesday, Aug. 26. It will be held each Wednesday at the Gilmer Country Club and will continue for the entire season.

District 17-3A: Gilmer Team To Beat, But Parity Reigns Supreme

THE ZONE: 'Super Six'

Longview News-Journal: Lobos, Buckeyes, Tigers ranked No. 1

No questions at quarterback for Buckeyes

Tyler Morning Telegraph: Texas Football Ranks 4 East Texas Teams as Tops in Its Class

Gilmer Buckeyes High School Football Team Preview 09-10

Courtesy Photo /
COACH JEFF TRAYLOR discusses his team's No. 1 ranking with Danny Elzner of KETK Channel 56.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Buckeyes dominate New Boston in final scrimmage


The Gilmer Buckeyes’ lightning quick offense dominated the New Boston Lions Thursday night before real lightning sent the two teams home early in the final tune-up before the start of the regular season.
The Buckeyes scored six touchdowns in the controlled portion of the scrimmage and had just scored their first touchdown under game conditions when lightning lit up the sky around Lion Stadium, forcing officials to end the scrimmage.
“We really wanted to get to play game situation,” lamented Gilmer head coach Jeff Traylor. “I hate going into Jasper without getting more game situation. We got a little bit, but not near what we wanted.”
The Lions didn’t get what they wanted either, as the Buckeyes scored early and often, racking up 574 total yards on 42 plays.
“I thought we were a lot sharper tonight offensively than we were against Atlanta; much sharper,” said Traylor.
After completing only 16 of 34 passes last week against Atlanta, the Buckeyes connected on 20 of 26 passes for 453 yards and 6 touchdowns against the Lions. Starting quarterback Stump Godfrey threw two of those touchdowns to Ben Griffith and one to Gus Osborne, while back-up signal-caller Braylon Webb hit Tristan Holt, Osborne and J.T. Beecham with scoring strikes.
Godfrey had the Buckeyes lone rushing touchdown on a 5-yard run and had a 70-yard touchdown run called back on a holding penalty away from the play. Gilmer finished with 121 rushing yards on 16 carries.
While Traylor was pleased with the offense’s improvement since the last scrimmage, he was unhappy with the progress of the defense. “I didn’t think we were near as physical on defense,” Traylor stated. “I think we took a step backward defensively. We played pretty well but I just didn’t think we had that intensity like we did against Atlanta.”
After holding Atlanta to only 70 total yards on 53 plays last week, the Buckeyes’ defense allowed 147 total yards on 43 plays to the Lions. Gilmer also forced 7 turnovers last week compared to only 2 against the Lions.
Traylor did admit that the Lions had something to do with the defense’s trouble. “They hit a few plays,” said Traylor. “They’re well coached. They do a good job coaching.”
The Buckeyes will face Jasper Friday, Aug. 28 at 7:30 p.m. in Nacogdoches; a regular season opener that can’t get here soon enough according to Traylor. “I can tell we’re ready to play a real game,” Traylor said. “I mean we’re not ready, but our kids need the excitement of a real game.”


This feature of Gilmer Athletic Booster Club membership begins Wednesday, Aug. 26, at 12 noon at the Gilmer Country Club and will continue for the entire season.

THE ZONE: 'Super Six'

Longview News-Journal: Lobos, Buckeyes, Tigers ranked No. 1

No questions at quarterback for Buckeyes

Tyler Morning Telegraph: Texas Football Ranks 4 East Texas Teams as Tops in Its Class

Mirror Photo / Mary Laschinger Kirby
SCORING THE FIRST touchdown of the scrimmage, Gilmer’s Stump Godfrey pushes into the end zone despite the efforts of New Boston’s Brandon Raney. Gilmer outpaced the Lions 6-0 in the controlled portion of the workout Thursday.

Mirror Photo / Mary Laschinger Kirby
GILMER BACK Vance Green cuts around his blockers and heads up field past an empty-handed New Boston Lion during the abbreviated scrimmage there Thursday evening.

Mirror Photo / Mary Laschinger Kirby
GRABBING AS BEST he can, a New Boston tackler puts a choke hold on Gilmer’s Gus Osborne and rides him out of bounds when the fleet-footed running back broke into the open during the controlled scrimmage Thursday.

Mirror Photo / Mary Laschinger Kirby
BUCKEYE RECEIVER Ben Griffith high steps into the end zone after breaking a New Boston tackle to score one of the six touchdowns Gilmer had in the controlled portion of the scrimmage. Lightning Thursday night cut short the game simulation phase.

Coach Traylor is still excited

More than nine years after he became head football coach of the Gilmer Buckeyes, Jeff Traylor is still excited about the prospects of a new season. But one thing has changed: the job has become so big he has lost contact with the players, “the kids.”
He reminisced about those years as well as looking at this year’s prospects Tuesday when he spoke to the Gilmer Rotary Club.
He was introduced by Rotarian Larry Cowan, who expressed pride in both the Gilmer High football program and the character of the man who heads it.
Traylor said he sometimes has parents who threaten to remove a son from the football squad because he doesn’t see enough action. He said he tells them two things: “One kid doesn’t make the program,” and, their son will be deprived of the chance to be around “15 of the most incredible men on the planet.”
He was referring to his “unbelievable” staff.
“If you don’t like football you can still be glad of the people these kids are around,” Traylor said.
The coach gave his assistants credit for the fact that Buckeye football has made college possible for a number of Gilmer graduates who would not otherwise have continued their educations.
He said that players going on to schools such as UT-Austin, Oklahoma U. and Missouri U. get more attention, but the Gilmer program also sends many athletes to smaller 4-year colleges and junior colleges. In his decade, he has counted up a total of 60.
Traylor said that of the seven players who had their college paid for last year, five would not have gone on without the help.
A lot of work goes into this record, the impact of which may not be clear for years, he commented.
His staff works with the finest cameras and computers, and an assistant coach is in charge of each academic subject. At a time when many entering junior college students are not qualified to do the school work, Buckeye athletes do not have that problem, Traylor said.
When so many students go off and do well it creates a sort of virtuous circle that attracts recruiters and students alike, in his view.
“We have so many players, and that is why we are so successful,” the coach said.
Looking toward the new season, Traylor said, “We’re reaching for No. 1.”
Carthage, though, should be rated No. 1 in the state, he added.
If Chapel Hill does not make it to the playoffs and Gilmer is designated a big school (aka Division I), the Buckeyes will improve their chances, he asserted.
The Buckeyes have lost only six games in seven years, winning the state championship in 2004. But the 2003 team was the best in his 10 years, he said. The coach said he has been “proud of how we lost,” explaining that his teams never quit.
“It’s the way our kids play the game that has me excited,” he said.
Speaking of Quarterback Stump Godfrey, Traylor said he has grown up, adding, “you’ll see him come into his own.” Part of his new maturity and leadership was shown by his decision on his own to attend Stephen F. Austin State football camp for a week, the coach said.
This year’s team has lost some great receivers to graduation but will have a number of good ones, he observed, and running back positions are solid. He predicted the Buckeyes will be pretty good on offense, not great, but they have a chance to be great on defense.
Asked to comment on players who had gone on to succeed past high school, he chose to single out one, Manuel Johnson, who is now a Dallas Cowboy after finishing OU. Aside from his athletic skill, Traylor said, “He will always try to do the right thing.”
Each year a theme is posted in the dressing room and has meaning for all members of the squad. This year’s theme, Traylor said, is Code Red, which encompasses the importance of faith as carried out three ways: think it, say it, act it.

Mirror Photo
COACH JEFF TRAYLOR talks about the coming Buckeye football season in a program he gave for the Gilmer Rotary Club Tuesday.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Gilmer-New Boston scrimmage set for Thursday at 6 p.m.

The Gilmer Buckeyes will travel to New Boston on Thursday, Aug. 20, to face the Lions in their second and final scrimmage of 2009.

The Freshman/JV scrimmages start at 5 p.m. and the Varsity scrimmage at Lion Stadium starts at 6 p.m.

View Larger Map

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Buckeyes dominate Atlanta in first scrimmage


The Gilmer Buckeyes looked every bit the pre-season number one team Saturday in a six touchdowns to none thrashing of Atlanta in a scrimmage at Rabbit Stadium.
The Buckeyes amassed a whopping 541 total yards on 54 plays, while limiting Atlanta to only 70 total yards and forcing six turnovers.
“Our depth and conditioning just wore Atlanta down,” explained Gilmer head coach Jeff Traylor.
Atlanta’s first series of 20 plays were marred by an interception by senior defensive back Ben Griffith and a fumble recovery by senior linebacker Mikey Wilson.
Gilmer’s first possession wasn’t very impressive either as the Buckeyes totaled 134 total yards and only one score, a 3-yard touchdown run by junior running back Gus Osborne.
The Buckeyes offense got rolling on their second possession, totaling 217 yards and three scores on only 15 plays. Back-up quarterback Braylon Webb hit senior receiver Daniel McLaren for a 66-yard touchdown followed by a 28-yard touchdown to senior receiver J.T. Beecham. Sophomore quarterback Jordan Traylor completed the scoring with a 5-yard touchdown pass to senior receiver Tristan Holt.
Gilmer’s offense kept the pace with two more touchdowns in the final series. Senior quarterback Stump Godfrey hit Holt with a 15-yard touchdown pass, before Webb closed out the scoring with a 26 yard touchdown pass to Beecham.
“Our quarterbacks threw the ball around well. Our receivers caught the ball well,” said Traylor. “That was good.”
Traylor also praised his defense, which held the Rabbits to -4 rushing yards on 28 carries. “I thought our defense was physical,” Traylor stated. “We hit well. That was good to see; how much more athletic, how much stronger we looked compared to this time last year.”
Gilmer’s pass defense was just as impressive, limiting Atlanta to only 74 yards on 25 attempts and intercepting the Rabbits five times. Griffith led the secondary with two picks while Paul Chesnut, Chad Tennison and Holt had one each.
“There were some bright spots obviously and there were some bad spots,” cautioned Traylor. “Our offensive line was not very good. We were extremely disappointed with that. We had way too much pressure, and we didn’t run the ball all that well either.”
The Buckeyes totaled 117 yards on 20 carries, but Traylor was pleased with the running of Osborne. “I thought Gus played well at running back,” said Traylor.
Traylor was also pleased in the development of two of the team’s question marks entering the season; the receivers and defensive line.
“We played 14 receivers and most of them played pretty good,” Traylor said. “We feel like we’re going to be fine. We don’t have many difference makers, but I think we’ll be solid there.”
“We played 12 kids on the defensive line,” continued Traylor. “They all played pretty good. Obviously we can’t always keep playing 12, but we’ll play nine for a while and we’ll eventually get down to six.”
While Traylor was happy with his team’s play on the field, he was more pleased that no players were injured during the scrimmage. “That was a blessing,” Traylor said. “We still have a couple of kids out due to sickness and an injury in practice; but we didn’t lose anybody in the scrimmage.”
Gilmer wraps up the pre-season schedule with a scrimmage at New Boston Thursday night. Freshmen and JV will scrimmage at 5 p.m. with the varsity taking the field at 6 p.m.
The Lions should be a stiff test for the Buckeyes as they return 14 starters from a 10-2 team last season. Traylor said he likes to face Rick Barker coached teams. “He’s a good coach. His kids play hard and they’re always good.”

Gilmer 9th grade defeated Atlanta 9th grade 1-0 TD.

Gilmer JV defeated Atlanta JV 4-2 TD's.

Gilmer Varsity defeated Atlanta Varsity 6-0 TD's.

Varsity Stats:


Rushes/Yards 20/117
Completions/Attempts/TD/INT 16/34/5/0
Passing Yards 474
Total Yards 591
First Downs 15
Turnovers 0


Rushes/Yards 28/-4
Completions/Attempts/TD/INT 10/25/0/4
Passing Yards 74
Total Yards 70
First Downs 5
Turnovers 5 discussion

Scrimmage Photos

Gilmer Buckeyes warming up at Rabbit Stadium
The team goes through its pre-scrimmage drills with military-style discipline, concluding with the spelling out of "P.R.I.D.E."

Gilmer QB Stump Godfrey
The Buckeyes' senior field general does some ball handling before the start of the Varsity scrimmage

Gilmer Buckeyes' two-play TD drive against the Atlanta Rabbits
I'm assuming from "Way to go, Gus" that Gus Osborne caught the screen pass. I'm not sure who carried on the next play for the TD. Someone let me know.

GBux on defense against the ARabbs
The highlight of this sequence is a vicious gang-tackle about a minute into the video, after which Defensive Coordinator Todd Barr congratulates his defenders on a job well done.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Buckeyes travel to Atlanta for scrimmage Saturday


Gilmer head football coach Jeff Traylor was all smiles after his top-ranked Buckeyes finished their first week of practice. “It was one of our better two-a-days,” said Traylor, who enters his 10th season at the helm of his alma mater. “We still have some question marks. We don’t know some of the answers yet, but we’re getting closer.”

Traylor credited the good first week to the large number of seniors and experienced veterans who return to the team ranked as state championship favorites by Dave Campbell’s Texas Football Magazine. But Traylor was quick to put the first week into perspective.

“The first week there’s no pad work hardly; you’ve got one day of pads on Friday,” Traylor explained. “So it will be a lot more physical this week because they’ll have three days of pads and then scrimmage on Saturday. This will be the most physical week of practice the entire season.”

That physical week ends with a Saturday morning trip to Atlanta, where the Buckeyes will scrimmage the Rabbits. Freshmen and junior varsity teams will scrimmage on opposite sides of the field starting at 9 a.m. followed by the varsity scrimmage at 10 a.m.

“I like their speed and how physical they are,” stated Traylor. “They’re just a good old-fashioned East Texas football team. They’ll knock the snot out of you. It’s just good for us to get in there with those physical teams. People say we’re a spread offense; we’re not physical, so I like to play those physical people.”

Traylor hopes scrimmaging the Rabbits will help him and his coaching staff find the missing pieces to the Buckeyes’ puzzle. “We need two or three receivers to step up. We’ve got to find two offensive linemen. Defensively we’ve got to find some defensive linemen. Those are the main things,” said Traylor, who said that practice only reveals so much.

“We’ve got an idea but there are some kids who step up in those games, and there are some kids who cower down in those games,” Traylor said. “You’re not so much worried about the score. You’re more worried about finding those kids.”

Season tickets on sale

Reserved seating tickets for the 2009 Buckeye football season will be sold to current season ticket holders Aug. 17 to 21.
Tickets will cost $20 each and will be available at the athletic office in the fieldhouse from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day.

Mirror Photos / Mary Laschinger Kirby
FANS FILL Buckeye Stadium Saturday as Athletic Director Jeff Traylor introduces varsity football players as varsity cheerleaders celebrate each player. At left are the junior varsity cheerleaders and volleyball team during the annual “Meet the Buckeyes” community pep rally.

BUCKEYE STARS officers entertain during Meet the Buckeyes Saturday with a dance routine. From left are Lakyn Frost, Shayna Davis, Sarah Beth Morris, Rachael Hall, and Abbie Bryant. Behind the Stars, the Gilmer varsity and junior varsity cheerleaders watch the performance.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Buckeyes open practice with almost 130 players


The 2009 Gilmer Buckeyes are ranked number one in Class 3A by Dave Campbell’s Texas Football magazine and Monday’s opening day of practice showed that many players want to be a part of this season.

“We had 85 out here today. We’re probably missing five more, and we expect about 40 freshmen out tomorrow so we’ll have around 130,” said Gilmer head coach Jeff Traylor after Monday’s workouts.

The Buckeyes return an abundance of starters from a team that went 12-2 last season, losing to eventual state champion Carthage by only three points.

“We’ve got a lot of players back and that always makes it better,” admitted Traylor. But the Buckeyes are looking for a few good men to fill holes left by graduation.

“Were not solid at some places; we’re looking,” Traylor stated. “At the defensive line we lost a lot of kids there. We need to find two or three offensive linemen. We lost several receivers. So those are the holes we’re looking to fill.”

Despite the early August start, Traylor said heat wasn’t a problem for the Buckeyes on the first day. “It wasn’t too bad, it’s been worse. The humidity was kind of bad coming off the wet ground, but it wasn’t too bad. We only had two kids cramp up, so our summer conditioning program worked real well.”

Traylor explained that Gilmer’s summer conditioning program is designed to help the Buckeyes get off to a fast start. “The goal of summer conditioning is when the first day of two-a-days come, we are in mid-season form,” Traylor explained. “Whereas most schools go into the first day trying to get in shape, we want to hit the first day at game speed. We were there tonight.”

The Buckeyes will continue two-a-day practices until school starts on August 24. Gilmer will travel to Atlanta on Saturday, August 15, and to New Boston on Thursday, August 20 for scrimmages before opening the season against Jasper on Friday night, August 28 at Stephen F. Austin’s Homer Bryce Stadium.

Mirror Photos / Mary Laschinger Kirby
FINISHING WORK at the end of the first football practice Monday are offensive linemen Beau Blair, left, Floyd Hollins, Jacob Jenkins and Marcus Reed. After a brief talk by Athletic Director Jeff Traylor, the players took a break before returning for work under the lights in the second session.

GILMER QUARTERBACK Stump Godfrey throws a pass during one of the two-a-day practices Monday as footballs are in the air and the season will soon start. Gilmer is ranked number 1 in Class 3A in preseason polls.

BUCKEYE RUNNING BACKS and receivers get instructions from coach Tommy Edwards as the sun sets on the first session of football two-a-day practices. From left, front, are Tevin Godfrey, Dakota Cannon, Marlon Granville, Vance Green, Tamil Harris, Daniel McLaren and Coach Edwards. The player second row left is unidentified.

MATCHING PACES, Buckeyes Tevin Godfrey, left, and Luke Turner practice defensive moves during the second football session Monday at Buckeye Stadium. The 2009 football season opened with youth all over the county turning out.

Meet the Buckeyes scheduled for Saturday night, August 8


The public is invited to come and Meet the Buckeyes Saturday night at Buckeye Stadium. The 2009 Gilmer football, volleyball and cross-country teams will be introduced, along with the band, cheerleaders, drill team and majorettes.

Activities get underway at 7 p.m. and are scheduled to conclude around 8:15 p.m.

“I think it’s just neat that all the groups are out here,” said head football coach and athletic director Jeff Traylor. “It’s like a pep rally to start the year off, and I think the kids enjoy it.”

Meet the Buckeyes will cap off a very busy day for the Gilmer students. The football and volleyball teams will have their pictures taken for media day, and the football players will begin selling the discount Buckeye Cards. All students will then be treated to a free meal by the Gilmer Athletic Booster Club before the event.

Following the event, parents’ meetings will be held for football and volleyball parents.

The Gilmer Athletic Booster Club will have a table to sign up members for the 2009-2010 school year. General memberships cost $25 and include two membership cards, two car decals, and admittance to the weekly lunch with Coach Traylor.

Preferred memberships are $250 and include a select parking pass to home football games, a coaches’ shirt and the benefits of the general membership.

Business memberships are $125 and include a decal for the business and a poster for both the fall and spring sports.

Meet the Buckeyes

Saturday, Aug. 08, 2009

Buckeye Stadium

12:00 Buckeye Cards/VB Pictures (FB Field)

3:00 Varsity FB pictures

3:30 JV FB pictures

4:00 9th grade FB pictures

4:30 Coaches pictures

5:30 Band and Stars Eat

6:00 Cheerleaders and Cross Country Eat

6:15 Volleyball and Football Teams Eat

7:00 Band and Stars march into stadium

7:10 National Anthem - Shelbi Herndon

7:15 Stars perform

7:20 Varsity and JV Cheerleaders – Fight Song

7:25 Majorettes perform

7:30 Introduce female coaches

7:35 Introduce varsity volleyball team

7:40 Introduction of Varsity FB Coaches

7:45 Introduce Varsity Football Soph/Jrs

7:50 Introduce Cross Country Team

7:55 Varsity Cheerleaders Dance

8:00 Introduction of Varsity FB Seniors

Recognition of 9th/JV Football teams

8:10 School Song

8:15 Parent’s meeting (7-12 grade football)-Field House

Lady Buckeye parent’s meeting - Gymnasium

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Gilmer Buckeyes' 2009 goal is the same as always — a state championship


The 2009 edition of Gilmer Buckeyes’ football gets underway Monday evening with the start of two-a-day practices. Varsity and Junior Varsity players report to the Field House at 4:30 p.m. with the first practice running from 6 to 7:30 p.m. The second practice starts at approximately 8:45 p.m. Freshmen report Tuesday morning at 8 and practice from 9 to 11.

“We’re excited,” said Gilmer head coach Jeff Traylor. “We have so many players returning, there’s not as many question marks as there usually are. We’ve got to find some receivers, a couple of offensive linemen, and a couple of defensive linemen. But the rest of our team is pretty much intact.”

That should bode well for the Buckeyes, who finished last season with a 12-2 record, losing to eventual State Champion Carthage by only three points. Despite the depth of seasoned veterans, Traylor plans to stick to the fundamentals when practice starts.

“We have to develop our lower level kids, our JV, and our back-ups,” explained Traylor. “So we’ll still follow the same procedure. Our expectations might be a little higher. Our execution should be more crisp.”

Entering his 10th season at the helm of the Buckeyes, Traylor’s practices are unique in that the public is encouraged to attend, coaches’ young children are everywhere, and music blares from the stadium speakers. Even the concession stand will be open during the late practice.

“We don’t have anything to hide,” Traylor said. “The Field House is always open, practices are always open. The coaches are gone so much, I want them to be around their families as much as they can so I let their kids come up here and hang out.”

As for the music, Traylor reasons “Kids today are used to that stuff. They like to have a good time. As long as they are working hard and they’re focused, I’ll leave the music on.”

All of the potential distractions at practice should also help the team deal with the pressure of being ranked number one in Dave Campbell’s Texas Football magazine preseason poll.

“We expect to compete for a state championship every year, so our expectations never change,” stated Traylor. “All these kids know what’s at stake here. They know about the home winning streak, they know about the district winning streak, and they know our expectations are playing for it all every year and win it.”

Traylor insists that each team is defined by its seniors, and this year will be no exception. “I’m just excited to see this senior group take ownership of the team. I really want to see who the leaders are going to be. We had a lot of seniors in 2006 and they were preseason number one and we just didn’t get it done that year. It will be interesting to see how these kids handle the preseason number one compared to that 2006 group.”